Barbara Black Quiltmaker
Barbara Black has been quilting for 22 years and has taught quilting since 1989 to beginners through advanced. She teaches a weekly class for a quilting store in Huntsville, AL called Patches & Stiches. She has worked for 8 years as an Education Team member with Quilts Inc. (www.quilts.com) which holds 3 international shows for the public and 2 international trade shows each year. She has been awarded Best in Show by national judges for a quilt she entered in competition. She has held every position, including president of Heritage Quilters of Huntsville (a quilter's guild of over 350 members). She has had quilts published by McCall's Publishing and Christmas Year-Round among others. She has also designed the quilts and wrote instructions for them. Barbara especially enjoys teaching beginners and sharing her enthusiasm for the art of quilting.
How to Machine Quilt
Quilter Barbara Black demonstrates how to quilt and how to machine quilt.
Barbara Black: Hi, my name is Barbara Black. I am a professional quilt maker and a teacher. Today I am showing you how to make a quilt. Now we will work on the quilting. We have got the three layers together the quilt top, the batting and the backing and now we are going to do some machine quilting. This piece could be hand quilted or machine quilted, the difference between the two is that hand quilting takes longer. I am going to do some simple machine quilting today. The first thing we want to do is bring up the bobbin thread.
So you will place the sewing machine right at the place where you want to begin and just take one stitch, pulling up on the top thread you will bring the bobbin thread up to the surface and you will be able to hold both of the threads as you start and that will prevent any sort of knots on the back. The first stitches that we want to take are very tiny little stitches that are locking stitches. So I have set the stitch length very small and I am only going to do two or three of those little tiny stitches right in a row.
Now I will move the stitch length to a longer stitch length than I have been piecing with, somewhere about 6-8 stitches to the inch and I will begin to do this -- my machine stitching right in the ditch. You want to go slowly and follow along right in the seam line between the border and the quilt top. You stitch along the border and you would go completely all the way around the border. When you get back to the beginning then we are going to outline around all of the sides of the start itself, again following very slowly in line right up against the border.
If you have a half motor speed on your machine you will want to engage it so that you can stitch exactly where you want to stitch and stop when you need to stop. You will just turn this all the way, you should go all the way around completely stitching the entire quilt as you go. When you have gotten all the way to the end then you are ready to stop, you will just cut the tiny little stitches at the ending just as you began and cut the threads off and you will be ready to finish up the rest of the process.
The next thing I will do when I get done, before I cut the edges even is to do some very simple basting stitches, nice long stitches out in the border along the outside edge. This will help to hold the border in place as you are applying the binding and you will continue with that all the way around as well. When you have done that completely you are ready to square up the quilt top after all the quilting is done.
I like to use a square for the corners. Place the square and measuring in on both sides so that you are sure that you have got true measurements and that the quilt is still straight, using in a rotary cutter cut straight up and straight over then do that around the four corners and continue with the long ruler for the rest of the span. If you are working on a very large quilt you would have -- move this rotary cutter quite a long way.
Get this all finished completely squared up even so that the top and the batting and the back are even and then we will be ready to apply the binding. This is how you do the quilting and now let's talk about finishing the quilt.